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Miniature Lab Begins Science Experiments in Outer Space ( 27

An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report: Orbiting the earth at more than 500 kilometers (300 miles), a tiny satellite with a laboratory shrunk to the size of a tissue box is helping scientists carry out experiments that take gravity out of the equation. The technology was launched into space last month by SpacePharma, a Swiss-Israeli company, which on Thursday announced that its first experiments have been completed successfully. In space, with hardly any interference from earth's gravity, cells and molecules behave differently, helping researchers make discoveries in fields from medicine to agriculture. Nestle turned to zero gravity -- or what scientists refer to as microgravity -- to perfect the foam in its chocolate mousse and coffee, while drugmakers like Eli Lilly have used it to improve drug designs.
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Miniature Lab Begins Science Experiments in Outer Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Arf Arf Arf!

  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @01:55PM (#54060065)

    Sadly, after Trump's massive cuts to science, miniature was the best they could do. I believe they have the below list of experiments to choose from.. []

  • This benefit makes me sad: "Nestle turned to zero gravity -- or what scientists refer to as microgravity -- to perfect the foam in its chocolate mousse and coffee"

    Really? I never considered "imperfect food foam" to be a pressing problem. This seems both arrogant and wasteful.
    • What's sadder is that the SCSC [] was cancelled so that the ISS could be doing this r&d for cheaper. At least that was NASA's promise.

      The SCSC would have been three times larger than the LHC.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I can see the ad now: "$70 billion dollars has been spent by world governments so YOU can have the very best fluffy bar from Boondoggle Chocolate Company!"

    • Assuming they figure out how to perfect the foam in zero gravity environment, how is this going to help them here on Earth, I wonder.

      • Yeah, that seemed pretty infeasible to me, too. However, I finally found a reference about this Nestle research. (

        Two things emerge:
        1. The research was *not* actually on the ISS. It was on a research airplane. So, it's a little less difficult than I thought it was.
        2. The article implies -- but does not explain exactly how -- Nestle was intending to benefit in the production of Earthbound foamy products, by studying them in microgr
  • If I lived in Piedmont, I'd be worried; a lot of things seem to be repeating lately. :)

  • You can buy a Cube-Sat online. 10 x 10 x 10 cm^3, and it fits into a standard deployment thingie – which the rocket going up, with a bit of space/weight to spare, is happy to "fill-up the bus" before launch. You can buy double and triple-sized Cube-Sats, and it sounds like this one was 20 x 10 x 10 cm^3.

    High-school kids do projects with these routinely. Commercial giants getting into the game is no surprise––they just don't get a subsidy to put the thing into orbit.

    It is not news that

  • Earth gravitational force is absolutely negligible compared to molecular forces. Even hydrogen bonds are to strong to be affected by gravity.

APL hackers do it in the quad.